Donate Money or Volunteer Time?

by Kristina Tahnyak on September 3, 2010 · 4 comments

“I ponied up a mill, but I didn’t give my time. So in reality, I didn’t give a dime.” Sean Carter.

Fall is fundraising time.  From September to November there are numerous charities that host fundraising events.  As a young professional our image is very important, and so is networking.  A great opportunity to do both at the same time is through charities.  Charity work is a great way to meet other young professionals, as well as an opportunity to promote ourselves.

I ask you DINKS…Is it better to make a financial donation to a worthy cause, or to volunteer our personal time?

Donating money is obviously the most direct method of support.  The money goes to research, or the purchase of equipment, or whatever other supplies may be needed at that time.  Financially, donating money is more beneficial since we can receive a tax deduction depending on the amount of money that we donate.  Large monetary donations may also result in the mention of our name in a newsletter or event program.  This will also promote ourselves and/or our business/employer.

Volunteering time is the method that I prefer because I feel that my contribution makes it possible for the people who raise contributions and donate money to participate in the event.  I enjoy planning and organizing, so volunteering my time makes sense for me.  It also allows me to network my business and meet new people, which I also enjoy.

If you support a cause, how did you choose the charity?

I support The Children’s Hospital.  This is a personal choice for me because I was born 6 weeks early.  I was hospitalized for a while before I was released to go home with my parents.  Without medical advances through donations, I may have not survived.  My contributions to The Children’s Hospital began as financial donations and evolved into volunteering my time over the past four years.

One night while Nick and I were driving home, I heard an advertisement for a Children’s Radio-thon.  I called in and made a onetime donation.  Later in the year, The Children’s Hospital sent me information on how to donate monthly directly from my bank account or credit card.  After a year of this I visited their website to learn about other fundraising events. This November will be the third time that I will volunteer for the triathlon in support of The Children’s Hospital.

This year for the first time, I will also volunteer to support women’s ovarian cancer.  There is not a personal story behind my choice.  One day I saw a commercial on television for an upcoming event they are having and I decided to join.

Regardless of whether we donate our money or volunteer our time, I am sure that charities are thankful for our contributions.

(Photo By Heuer)

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JoeTaxpayer September 4, 2010 at 2:08 am

Interesting topic.
When I read about someone in debt who still gives 10% to their church, I’d ask why not donate time instead? It really depends on the individual. Would you rather a Bill Gates serve up soup at a kitchen or donate a day’s income? Yet, there are people who struggle to save $10 to use for groceries, maybe a few hours a week helping a shut-in, or tutoring the kids who need help is something they can do.

2 C.C. Collins September 4, 2010 at 8:22 am

A thoughtful and well presented article. I am glad to have learned that volunteering can be a
big win win for all involved and in different ways than I had imagined.

3 Tim September 5, 2010 at 11:07 am

I always viewed donations as redistribution of guilt by disassociation.

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